Republicans for Environmental Protection react to President’s Budget
Clean Water and Energy Priorities were listed in the Environmental Budget Request released by the Department of State today, but drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was not mentioned.
President Bush’s inclusion of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling revenues in his proposed 2007 budget grossly contradicts the call in his State of the Union speech to reduce America’s addiction to oil.
“The administration’s speedy retreat from the president’s oil addiction statement and the assumption of Arctic Refuge oil drilling in the president’s budget make it clear that when it comes to oil, this White House is more about getting a fix than fixing our energy problems,” said REP Government Affairs Director David Jenkins. “The rhetorical bait-and-switch illustrated just how much control that big oil interests have over the president’s agenda.”
“We can’t end our addiction to oil by expanding our dependence on oil,” REP Policy Director Jim DiPeso said. “We must chart a new energy direction and let go of the false, addiction-feeding notion that our nation can drill its way to energy security. We will never find energy security in the Alaskan wilderness.”
“The math of our oil addiction is unyielding. America uses 25 percent of the world’s oil production, yet holds only 2 percent of global oil reserves. Draining America first will leave us worse off. Anyone who asserts that drilling the Arctic Refuge is a step toward energy independence is out of touch with reality,” DiPeso said.
“Let’s hope that in a challenging election year, Congress will reject the president’s special-interest energy agenda and actually pursue the public’s best interest,” Jenkins said. “To retain control of Congress, our party must move beyond a shortsighted energy agenda designed to prop up oil industry profits. It must pursue more forward-thinking energy solutions that protect the American people.”
While the president’s call to develop new fuel and transportation technologies is welcome, there are steps that must be taken now to reduce America’s oil addiction.
“The cheapest, cleanest, and most reliable way to reduce our oil addiction is to use oil more efficiently. Improving fuel efficiency will move our nation in the right direction while the new technologies are under development. Drilling the Arctic Refuge, on the other hand, would move us in the wrong direction – raising false hopes, perpetuating our addiction, and sapping the political will that is needed to make real progress,” DiPeso said.
“We have the scientific and business smarts to get off the oil addiction treadmill and build lasting energy security. The time to get started is now,” DiPeso said.
REP America is the national Grassroots Organization of Republicans for Environmental Protection